When DARPA started in 1962 as part of the US’s reaction to Russia launch of Sputnik in 1957 no one could have foreseen its evolution to 2009 with FaceBook, YouTube, and Google. A recent article questions whether we need a new Internet since the current hodgepodge is not designed for the future. Clearly there are people working on re-tooling the Internet, but how it will continue to evolve is interesting but unclear. The UK and US are busy trying to provide high speed Internet access to the every home, but the Spectrum changes for TV for HD broadcast will free up the old Spectrum and will provide new cell and Internet services unknown before.
4G is Coming
AT&T announced its plan to roll out 4G by 2011 which would replace the spotty 3G network now in use. AT&T, Verizon, and the other providers will use the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless broadband which is supposed to handle downloads at 100 Mbps and uploads of 50 Mbps for every 20 MHz of spectrum...which will clearly change the way we operate today.
Do We Need a New Internet?
With the new high speed access in cell phones and at our desktops this should be a clue that it’s time to rethink the entire Internet structure. Maybe the UK and US plan for broadband access to every home will be revised based on 4G, and surely there will be an evolution in desktop computing. Not just that Microsoft and Open Source developers will offer new operating systems or browsers, but rather a major transformation about how technology is used. When in graduate school in 1972 I took a course on the computer as a public utility which was an interesting idea at the time...however it does not look like that ever happened. However the juxtaposition of 4G with the Internet may require a whole new approach to what how we operate. This should be an interesting evolution for the Internet...not Web 2.0 or Web 3.0, rather maybe Internet 2.0.
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